Preparatory Academy for Writers: A College Board School

Grades: 6-12

Our Insights

What’s Special

Lots of writing in all subjects and solid academics

The Downside

Shared building means a lot traffic in the hallways; school's small size means fewer electives

At Preparatory Academy for Writers (PAW), a small school serving grades 6-12, kids keep journals and have lively discussions in class. The middle school has excellent attendance and above-average test scores. By 8th grade students are tackling high school work and taking Regents exams.

The vibe throughout the school is friendly and calm. We were particularly impressed by how relaxed and focused 6th-graders were in classes immediately after their lunchtime.

Instead of simply lecturing from the front of the room, teachers encourage students to work on their own and in small groups. In a math class, some students may be solving problems at their desk, while another group is writing in their journal about the questions they have, and observations made, while still another group works with the teacher. In English classes, many lessons follow a similar pattern of reading, taking notes and discussing with peers and the entire class.

Students in all grades write a lot and compile portfolios of their best work as well as academic goals they set for themselves. At the end of each semester, students give oral presentations, discussing their work and reflecting on how well they met their goals.

To help with students transition to middle school, 6th-graders have the same teacher for both English and social studies in a double-period class called humanities. Students study algebra for two years starting in the 7th grade; by the end of 8th grade they take Regents exams in algebra, earth science and United States history.

About one-third of the student body leaves for high school, with a few going to super-selective schools like Townsend Harris. Those who stay are joined by new 9th-graders, some of whom have weak skills. The school offers them a lot of support.

Stronger students take a range of Advanced Placement classes. Struggling students take fewer classes that run at least for a double period. For instance, students needing extra help don't take a science class freshman year so they can devote more time to English, math and history; in 10th grade they take a double period of Living Environment. The attendance rate in high school is lower than the middle school. While some students take a demanding college-prep curriculum, the majority of graduates need to take remedial classes in CUNY.

All students participate in small group advisory classes, where they focus on both academic and social-emotional skills. Incoming 6th- and 9th-graders participate in a summer bridge program, a mix of fun, team-building activities and academic assessments, so teachers know their strengths and weakness at the start of the school year.

Housed on the first floor of the large, 1960s-era Springfield Gardens Educational Campus, PAW shares the building with three small high schools:Excelsior Preparatory High School High School, George Washington Carver High School for the Sciences and Queens Preparatory Academy. Students get big school perks such as a variety of sports teams and larger facilities. The downside is that first floor gets a lot of traffic as students from other schools come and go throughout the day to use the cafeteria and gymnasiumboth located on the first floor.

Though PAW was one of several schools founded with support from College Board, the organization ended its affiliation with individual schools in 2013.

There are a few elective classes such as photography. The Child Center of New York sponsors onsite after-school activities for the middle school including arts and sports. High schools students participate in campus-wide sports teams

SPECIAL EDUCATION: There are SETSS and ICT classes

ADMISSIONS: For middle school, priority to District 29 residents who attend and information session. For high school, priority to continuing 8th-graders and then to New York City residents who attend an information session. (Laura Zingmond, February 2017)

School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
611 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
8 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
226 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more



Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20


Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



Not offered in 2019-20
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Preparatory Academy for Writers

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP World History: Modern, AP English Literature and Composition, AP English Language and Composition, AP Statistics

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Football, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Flag Football, Indoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

Coed PSAL teams

Cricket, Stunt

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


143-10 Springfield Boulevard
Springfield Gardens NY 11413

Trains: N/A

Buses: Q3, Q77, Q85


Principal: Charles Anderson

Parent Coordinator: Jessica Brown


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Springfield Gardens Educational Campus with three other schools

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes


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